COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council Meeting March 8, 2021
Opioid crisis; the “plastic bag” bylaw; property taxes; changes to bylaw enforcement; RDKB report; and more
Present: Mayor Kathy Moore and Councillors Dirk Lewis, Chris Bowman, Janice Nightingale, Andy Morel, Stewart Spooner and Terry Miller; Staff present included CAO Bryan Teasdale, Planner Stacey Lightbourne, Recreation and Events Manager Kristi Calder, and Manager of Operations and Infrastructure Scott Lamont.
Mayor Moore spoke briefly about International Women’s Day, and added that it’s pathetic that it’s still needed – that women are still subjected to discrimination in so many ways.
Public Input Period:
Mr. S. Terhune spoke about his concerns about the proposed development at Washington street – identified himself as a long-term resident of Rossland, having been born here, and said he is planning to return. He asked about the square footage compared with the lot size. Moore asked him if he had received her e-mail in response to his questions – he hadn’t. He says he thinks the size of the building is larger than bylaws permit; Lightbourne responded that the design will be reviewed at the building permit stage to ensure that everything complies with bylaws and other requirements. He also commented adversely on the appearance of the proposed building.
Resident Tara House commented on the motion urging the federal government to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency. She also urged Council to press for decriminalization of drugs; she thinks that declaring opioid deaths a national emergency doesn’t accomplish enough.
1. Delegation from Moms Stop the Harm (MSTH): Diana Daghofer, Tammy McLean, MSTH members, and Lesley Beatson requested council support for a resolution asking the Government of Canada to declare the overdose crisis a national public health emergency. They pointed out that the opioid crisis is one of the largest public health emergencies of our lifetime, with about 5 people dying each day from a poisoned drug supply — compared to a little over 3 a day from Covid-19, since the pandemic started in March 2020.
Their materials explained the function and levels of dopamine and how substance use affects those levels, and why it I so difficult for people to give up the use of substances that raise their dopamine levels once they’ve experienced the elevated levels – regardless of understanding the harm. They gave personal accounts about friends and relatives damaged or lost to substance abuse. They argued compellingly for decriminalization as a necessary step in addressing the opioid crisis, but state that declaring the crisis a national emergency should be the first step.
Lesley Beatson recounted a recent experience in Trail, finding a man who appeared to be dead, in the middle of an intersection; she took over CPR from another woman, and eventually the man began to show detectable signs of life (breath, a pulse) before the ambulance arrived. She found the experience profoundly moving, and felt compelled to tell others about it. She noted that others responded in ways that viewed the unconscious person as “other” rather than as “same,” and that we need to recognize users as “same.”
Moore thanked the presenters and explained that Council decisions generally come at the next meeting. Daghofer noted that “the war on drugs is a failed war.” Moore noted that Council can include a request for decriminalization in a letter to the Federal Government. Nightingale asked if Council could be forwarded the withheld section of their material on decriminalization, and the presenters agreed.
2. Delegation from BC Assessment Authority: Mr. Ramaish Shah presented a brief overview on property assessment and the communities 2021 assessment roll. He explained that, unlike some other assessment authorities, BC Assessment has provided fair-market-value assessments even during COVID. He explained the difference between residential and commercial assessments – the income rate, the cost-of-replacement rate – and other factors affecting the market value of property. There are nine classes of properties, which may be taxed at different rates. He explained about the relationship between changes in property values and changes in property taxes – it depends on how the market value of a property has changed relative to others in the same area. At the end of his presentation, he answered questions from Councillors.
(Editor’s Note: Council held a Committee-of-the-Whole (CoW) meeting on Friday, March 5. The minutes of that meeting were not adopted at this meeting. At the CoW, council reviewed the progress to date on Rossland’s Official Community Plan (OCP) review, and Chief Financial Officer Elma Hamming presented the latest version of Rossland’s Five-Year Financial Plan.
Council discussed the property tax increases that had been planned before the pandemic, and after discussion, voted to recommend that the planned tax increase of 2.5% for this year be reduced to an increase of 1.5% instead. Please note: at this point, that is only a recommendation, not a decision – it still needs to be voted upon at a regular meeting of Council. I expect the decision to be made at the April 6 meeting of Council.)
Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw#2723 – the “plastic bag bylaw.” This bylaw has been delayed by COVID-19 safety precautions and government and individual business’s responses to the matter of reusable bags. The bylaw will not force businesses to allow reusable bags in their premises if their own safety protocols don’t allow that during the pandemic; the bylaw is not enforceable during the pandemic. When it becomes enforceable, it will require businesses to charge customers if they take a bag – not less than 25 cents for a plastic bag and not less than $2.00 for a reusable bag; but it will not apply to plastic bags purchased by a business before first reading of the bylaw – which occurred on April 20, 2020.
A motion that the bylaw be adopted CARRIED unanimously, with comments of “It’s about time!”
Fees and Charges for Recreation, Parks and Cultural Services Bylaw #2751: Nightingale said she didn’t want to pass this as it was presented, as all the City’s costs are rising; after discussion, Council agreed to an amendment to increase all the rentals and fees (but not the advertising amounts) by the CPI amount this year, and not to eliminate non-prime time pricing for user groups at the arena.
Nightingale explained the rationale: “that it is responsible and prudent to cover our increased cost in an incremental and manageable way for users and taxpayers, rather than defer additional costs until they required a larger, less manageable increase to cover them.”
A motion to give the bylaw as amended first reading CARRIED.
Notice Enforcement and Dispute Adjudication System Bylaw # 2749: On June 1, 2020, by a provincial Order in Council, the City of Rossland was approved to practice bylaw adjudication through an amendment to Appendix 2 of the Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act.
Advantages to bylaw adjudication within the City were listed in the Council materials as:
· Improved service to citizens: Municipalities that have adopted the system report that citizens are pleased with the lower cost and greater flexibility of adjudication system over the court system, resulting in increased payment rates and lower dispute rates.
· Increased revenue and operating efficiencies: All penalties are due and payable on receipt unless disputed. Staff are not required to attend adjudication hearings in person, saving Staff time.
· Reduced court dependency for minor infractions reduces costs and Staff time.
· Reasonable service requirement: Tickets can be issued by reasonable measures (such as in the mail) instead of requiring service in person.
The next steps to adopting the Bylaw Notice Enforcement Adjudication System are to adopt Bylaw Notice Enforcement Bylaw No. 2749, 2021 and a Screening Officer Policy (see below).
Spooner suggested reviewing the City’s penalties, because he thinks they’ve been more token than effective.
A motion to give the bylaw first reading CARRIED unanimously.
NEW POLICY: Screening Officer Policy: A motion to approve the policy CARRIED unanimously. It sets out guidelines for a screening officer to determine whether or not a ticket should be enforced.
Bylaw and Policy Enforcement Policy: A motion to approve the policy CARRIED unanimously.
Equipment Loan Policy: A motion to approve the policy CARRIED unanimously.
Employee Training and Professional Development Policy: a motion to approve the policy CARRIED unanimously.
Street Light Policy: A motion to approve the policy CARRIED unanimously, after Councillors discussed the “dark skies” concept, and agreed that Rossland is moving in the right direction.
Development Variance Permit Application – 2142 third Avenue: Council reviewed the application for a reduced side setback (to almost ten inches, to match the rest of the structure)) to accommodate an addition to the rear of the home, and a motion to allow the variance CARRIED unanimously.
Development Permit Application – 2452 Washington Street: Council reviewed application to build a five-unit multiple family housing development. Morel expressed concerns about the impact of the size of the proposed building, and the extra traffic it would generate next to the school. He’d like to see it “downscaled to some extent.”
Spooner noted we’ve been wanting to diversity Rossland’s housing stock, and he likes the proposal. Lewis echoed Morel’s concerns, especially “that many vehicles in and out of a very narrow lane.” Bowman mentioned the issue of guest parking, and that “vehicles now are so large” that many of them would pose problems.
Miller said he like the idea of diversifying our housing mix, but he does question how the parking would work. Nightingale also has concern about the parking, and the exit from fifth avenue onto Washington Street will be a problem. Morel said he had looked at the site at about 2:30 this afternoon, and the whole area was very congested, and he’d have a difficult time supporting the proposal. He suggested that Fifth Avenue might need to be made one-way (downhill).
Spooner said he lives near the school, and the traffic is chaotic for half an hour in morning and afternoon, but he doesn’t see how five more vehicles would make much difference. Lightbourne noted that the proposal meets all the requirements, and that it would be illegal to deny the application on the basis of traffic effects. Lewis and Moore both commented that they didn’t like the appearance of the proposed building; Lewis queried why Council is even voting on it, if it would be illegal to turn down the application – Spooner explained that it’s “due diligence.” Moore said Council could vote it down on the basis of “form and character.” Morel added that the recent homes built in the past few years show the same trend in appearance – “It seems to be what contractors are building.” Lightbourne commented that it’s also a by-product of striving for both energy-efficiency and affordability.
A motion to approve the application, subject to four stated conditions – including a requirement that the owner will be responsible to maintaining the laneway access to the building’s parking spaces — CARRIED.
Draft 2021 Corporate Management Work Plan: A motion to approve the plan CARRIED unanimously, and Moore thanked all the City Staff who have contributed to this. Spooner echoed her thanks.
Red Mountain Resort Liquor Primary License Application: a motion to recommend approval of the license CARRIED.
City Website Redesign Request for Proposals – Review and Award: A motion to award a contract in the amount of $28,193 plus taxes to ThompsonStenning to redesign the City website CARRIED.
A further motion that “Staff be authorized to make additional changes to the current scope of the project as necessary in order to ensure successful completion of the initiative” also CARRIED.
CEPF Grant Submission – Ophir Dam Reservoir and Dam Safety Review: A motion to apply for a grant under the Flood Risk assessment, Flood Mapping and Flood Mitigation (CEPF) Program for the Ophir Reservoir and Dam Safety Review Project CARRIED unanimously.
Canada Healthy Communities Initiative Grant Application – Downtown Public Washroom: A motion to approve the application to the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative grant program in the amount of $100,000 for the DOWNTOWN ROSSLAND PUBLIC WASHROOM project, with $81,319 to be allocated to the project from the City’s Resort Municipality Initiative Program Reserve Fund, CARRIED; Lewis commented that he’s shocked at the price of a toilet.
Heritage Commission Publishing Agreement: Nightingale left the meeting for this item. A motion to approve a draft publishing agreement between the Rossland Heritage Commission and Ronald A. Shearer to govern publication of Shearer’s book, “Chicanery, Civility & Celebrations; Tales of Early Rossland” CARRIED.
Endorsement of Climate Caucus Advocacy Campaign “Help Cities Lead”: A motion to endorse the campaignCARRIED unanimously.
2020 Annual Water Report: Lewis wondered how many people are using the “Eye on Water” app – he finds it very useful and interesting.
Council also reviewed and considered the other reports for February, 2021:
Building Permit Inspections by Type
Step Code Energy Rebates
Building Permit Report
Public Works Report
Water Production Report
Updated Task List
Member’s Reports (selected highlights only):
Spooner reported that KCTS was successful in obtaining a grant for the trail from Strawberry Pass to the biathlon parking area, which—when completed — will provide a complete trail route between Rossland and Strawberry Pass.
Bowman reported, inter alia, that the Museum had “an unruly patron” recently. The Heritage Commission has a new website, which is getting good traffic. The new sign for the Columbia Cemetery is ready to be installed when the snow is gone.
Morel submitted his report on the RDKB meetings (full report reproduced below). 175 people work for the RDKB.
Moore reported on her many meetings, and spoke to her motion that the City contribute $2000 to the Community Economic Resiliency Plan. Bowman supported the motion; Spooner said he thought the 62-page plan needed some plain-language treatment. Nightingale asked what other communities were pitching in; Moore didn’t know yet. Lewis wanted Rossland’s contribution to be contingent on other parts of the region adding some funding too, and “shared across the region.” That was added as a friendly amendment. The motion CARRIED, with only Spooner opposed.
Moore is part of a weekly vaccine call; she said “our vaccine centre” will be at Waneta Mall.
The meeting recessed to an in camera meeting, and your reporter poked the “EXIT MEETING” button, then spaced out for a while, watched her cat biting a few of her hind claws, and contemplated how COVID-19 isolation may be contributing to this senior citizen’s fading interest in being sociable, and wondering whether sociable feelings will revive again, over time.
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Councillor Morel’s Report on RDKB meetings (in full, not edited):
SUBMITTED TO: Mayor and Council FILE:
SUBJECT: RDKB Board and Committees Report for Monthly meetings up to February 25, 2021
RDKB BOARD AND COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES:
RDKB Utilities Committee – February 10, 2021 By Zoom
· Staff reports, GoranDenkovski, Manager of Infrastructure and Sustainability. Presentation and review of many of the varied utility services that RDKB staff manage throughout the District – East and West. Presentations of workplans and revised budgets for 2021.
· Specific to Rossland: Presentation and review of Financial Plans for Trail and Rossland Sole Benefiting East End Regional Sewer Services (700-101 and 700-102) and Rossland and Warfield Dual Benefiting East End Regional Sewer Service (700-103). Proposed 2021-2025 Five Year Financial Plan for review. Committee members encouraged to ask questions/ input towards 2021 work plans and budget. Deferral to future meeting for further review.
· Committee members encouraging staff to work towards 0-2% budget increases for 2021 and preferably for some services, using reserves where available to support 0% increases. East End Sewer Service reserves of $295K – staff wishing these minimum reserves to support potential infrastructure projects. Waiting for grant announcements soon.
RDKB BOARD MEETING – February 10, 2021 By Zoom
· Delegation – West Kootenay Boundary Community Investment Plan Coop
Presentation by Coop Directors advocating for a locally based, community investment portfolio to support local business startup and expansion business opportunities. The Board has requested a staff report outlining the options for potential investment and support in this Coop for next Board meeting discussions.
· Staff Report – Finance Manager, Barb Ihlen
The changes made to the financial plan since it was presented to the Board at the last meeting, were summarized. Staff reviewed the property tax requisition, miscellaneous revenue, transfers from reserves and IT projects. Given the expectation that the COVID19 travel restrictions will remain in place for the majority of 2021, some adjustments have been made to director and staff travel and expenses. She reviewed salaries and benefits noting that this area has been modified quite a bit so that the percentage increase has actually been reduced. An extra $2400. was added to this budget to support Director Gee for usage of the Rock Creek Community Riverside Centre for Zoom and public meeting space.
Suggestions on where to allocate the COVID-19 restart funds will be presented to the Board at the next meeting.
Director Grieve requested that for the next meeting, staff provide a full report on the total amount of savings from Directors’ and staff expenses (mileage, meals, etc.) as well as staff time in 2020 due to the COVD-19 travel restrictions.
· Staff Report – Janine Dougall, General Manager of Environmental Services provided an overview of the Regional Solid Waste Management (010) Service Draft 2021-2025 Five Year Financial Plan. She reviewed the areas of change and further explained the budget reduction from a 4% increase to 2.02% since it was last presented to the Board. Adjustments to the Board fee/ Administration service allocations for 2021 have reduced the increases for most budgets including this one. The plan and budget was approved.
· Staff Report – Chief D. Derby, Re: 9-1-1 Emergency Communication Services. One year extension of Contract Agreement between RDKB and RDCO to provide opportunity for negotiations and upcoming changes anticipated. Longer contract period planned for 2022 forward. Minor adjustments made to budget since last meeting. Proposed 2.45% increase for 2021. Plan and budget approved.
· RDKB Emergency Operations Report – Covid response – Mark Stephens, Manager, EOC reported that one last individual under RDKB isolation support at Big White through Level 1 activation. Once discharged, Interior Health will take over Big White response from RDKB.
· Administration Report – CAO, Mark Andison on staff Covid impacts. There have not been any major changes since the last update. There is one additional person involved in quarantining and away from work while undergoing a COVID-19 test. To date the impact of the policy is $48,273. The COVID-19 restart grant monies can be used to cover costs.
· New Administrative Staff Position: Barb Ihlen, General Manager of Finance/Chief Financial Officer noted that the HR Advisor position has been included in the General Government/ Administration Services (001) budget. She noted the significant volume of human resources work that needs to be managed stating that the function is currently decentralized creating more work for each operational manager. The RDKB has a significant number of employees -175 with the need increasing daily for HR supports. Staff reviewed the areas of strain on, and the impact to managers’ performance overall especially that of the Finance Department, while working without a human resources professional. There was a discussion regarding a contract position and an RDKB salary-position. It was determined the position is required long term. The Board reviewed the job description. The Board approved the inclusion of the new position in the 2021 budget.
· Janine Dougall, General Manager of Environmental Services reviewed her report on the McKelvey Creek Wasteshed Curbside Collection Green Bin Project and advised that the purpose of the report is to obtain the required resolution that formally authorizes staff to submit the grant application and outlines that the Board supports the project and commits to its share of the project, as well as cost overruns. 82-21 Moved / Seconded Corporate Vote Unweighted. That the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board of Directors direct staff to submit an application for grant funding for the McKelvey Creek Wasteshed Curbside Collection Green Bin Project through the CleanBC Organic Infrastructure and Collection Program. FURTHER that the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board supports the project and commits to its share -33% ($351,453) of the $1,054.M project, as well as cost overruns. Carried. This project will potentially serve 8322 homes in the RDKB East End communities including Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale and Areas A and B.
· Board and staff Discussions – Re: 2021 AKBLG Resolutions The Directors discussed topics and issues for submission to the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments (AKBLG) resolutions session. It was agreed that the following issues be referred to the Education and Advocacy Committee for review and recommendation that they be advanced to the AKBLG resolutions session:
· Support for a 1% wealth-tax to assist with COVID costs and to reduce the gap between “the wealthy and the poor”. 2. Advocate for current and future vaccines to be produced in Canada. 3. Turn over control of long-term care facilities to provincial governments. 4. Mental Health during a Pandemic. 5. COVID-19 start-up funds. 6. Strong fiscal futures. 7. Advocate for additional tax-allocation from federal and provincial governments to offset downloading. 8. Implement a limit to Regional Districts’ responsibilities for emergency management to ensure a sustainable service. 9. Advocate for more local control on land use practices and approval of same.
EAST END SERVICES MEETING – FEB. 16, 2021 By Zoom
· Delegation: Nadine Tremblay, Executive Director, The Bailey Theatre/Trail and District Arts Council Ray Maslek, Chair, Trails and District Arts Council Re: Greater Trail Community Centre and Bailey Theatre. Regarding the potential sale of the GTCC, the Arts Council was seeking confirmation of the RDKB’s continued future support of the theatre and visual arts space should the sale go through. Regarding the Bailey upgrade, the Arts Council was seeking written confirmation that the RDKB would take ownership of the upgrade project by overseeing construction and covering cost overruns should they arise.
The Committee members expressed their support of the Arts Council and the Bailey Theatre along with the required, previously budgeted upgrades.
· J. Chandler, General Manager of Operations/Deputy CAO along with Trevor Stach, Trail Transit Re: East End Transit Services (900) 2021-2025 Financial Plan. T. Stach attended the meeting and provided a review of the shelter replacements and additions of new shelters. For 2021, 15 new proposed bus shelters plus upgrades to 18 existing shelters. Discussion ensued on the budget with a potential zero tax requisition. That the East End Services Committee directs staff to transfer enough funds from reserves to reflect a zero-requisition budget. Carried.
· Staff Report, Chief D. Derby Re: The purpose of this report was to provide an overview of the 2021-2025 Five Year Financial Plan for the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue service budget. Discussion ensued on the training ground project budget line item for $125,000 in 2021. Discussion also ensued on a potential partnership with Teck for the training ground project. Some Committee members expressed concerns over this budget item and requested to have this project funded out of reserves. In the end the project was approved with reserves funding this project, along with Director requests that collaboration with Teck on potential land usage and facility cost sharing be sought.
· Chief Derby also provided an update on Provincial labour negotiations related to career firefighters. Contract increases thus far appear to be in the 2 – 2.5% range.
· Staff Report: Mark Daines, Manager of Facilities and Recreation. Light Rigging project for Charles Bailey Theatre being pursued under 2020 allocation. Work plan and Budget approved with 0% increase for 2021.
· Staff Report: James Chandler reported on Work Plan and 2021 Budget for Victim Services. New staffing with Jennifer Penny replacing Brianna Reilly as Coordinator of Program. Part time staff being hired shortly. Work plan and budget approved for 2021 – 0% increase.
· J. Chandler, General Manager of Operations/Deputy CAO Re: Economic Development Service 2021-2025 Financial Plan. Budget increase of 3.86% approved for 2021. Required to maintain contract with LCIC.
· J. Chandler, General Manager of Operations/Deputy CAO Re: Cemetery Services 2021-2025 Financial Plan. Increase to 2021 budget – 0.3% over 2020. Passed
· Director Cacchioni Re: Hydro Grant-in-lieu – Discussion. Director Cacchioni spoke to the contributions from the East End to the administrative service. Moved / Seconded That the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board of Directors approve the transfer of $150,000 per year into the Transit Service budget from the Hydro Grant-in-Lieu revenues for payments for any purchase, improvement or installation of any bus shelters previously approved by the East End Services Committee during the earlier Transit Service budget review and to include any costs associated with the downtown Trail Transit Exchange. FURTHER, that this amount will be earmarked in the Transit budget for specific capital costs for bus shelter improvements and downtown Trail Exchange projects until such time as both projects are complete. Carried. Committee members requested more information on the allocation of the Hydro Grant-in-lieu revenues for clarification and a better understanding.
· Director Grieve Re: Age Friendly Coordinator. Director Grieve asked if there was any appetite from other East End participants in hiring a full- time age friendly coordinated noting the benefits. To be discussed further.
· Director Grieve Re: Hydro Grant-in-Lieu Revenue Director Grieve requested a further discussion and exploration on the use of Hydro Grant-in-Lieu revenues and how it impacts the East End services. Moved / Seconded That the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board of Directors approve the annual transfer of $200,000 from Hydro Grant-in-Lieu revenues annually, as recommended by the East End Services Committee on February 16, 2021, to the Beaver Valley Regional Parks and Regional Trails Committee Recreation to support such projects as the proposed replica train station, Park Siding School relocation and the proposed improvements to the Beaver Valley Arena. Passed – Note: All Committee members looking forward to future discussions regarding Dam Revenues and RDKB service impacts and regional contributions.
*Item of note:
From Beaver Valley Recreation Meeting, January 19, 2021 Minutes,
Director Grieve Re: TRP Program – Discussion This agenda item acted as a reminder to the Committee that the agreement ends this October, 2021. Beaver Valley Recreation was requesting that Area A and Villages of Fruitvale and Montrose discuss amongst their councils, terms and conditions on renegotiating the TRP Program with the City of Trail and report back to the Committee.
RDKB BOARD MEETING – February 25, 2021 by Zoom
· Staff Reports: Covid Response Update, Mark Stephens, CEO Manager and CAO Mark Andison. Provincial Vaccine Response noted – 270K thus far. Feb. 14-20 Covid infection Report -IHA. No infections noted for Trail and immediate region.
Wage Continuation Policy – Staff support required has dropped off to $0 presently.
· AKBLG Resolutions – coming forward from Education and Advocacy Committee – 3 recommended: 1) Fairer allocation formula of Provincial Covid Restart Funds towards Regional Districts. Letter to be sent shortly requesting this issue be addressed. 2) More local/ regional collaboration/control of crown land use practises between Provincial Government agencies and local governments.
3) Increase in resources for mental health and addiction services related to Covid impacts in BC Communities.
Staff and Directors planning on setting up Ministerial meetings to advocate on these three items as others in near future.
· Education and Advocacy – Staff and Directors discussion on query regarding RDKB commitment to West Kootenay 100% Renewable Energy Plan. Staff will be providing membership impact report for consideration at future Board meeting.
· Education and Advocacy – Re: letter of support approved for Telus application – Universal Broadband Application.
· Reallocation of Hydro Grant-in-Lieu Revenues
Beaver Valley Regional Trails and Regional Parks (Feb. 16/21) Director Grieve, Chair, Beaver Valley Rec Recommendation: Corporate Vote Weighted That the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board of Directors approve the annual transfer of $200,000 (~10% of annual revenues), into the Beaver Valley Parks and Trails service (019) budget from the Hydro Grant-in-Lieu revenues, as recommended by the Beaver Valley Regional Parks and Regional Trails Committee on February 9, 2021, to support such projects as the proposed replica train station, Park Siding School relocation and the proposed improvements to the Beaver Valley Arena. Board Approved by Weighted Vote.
And, from East End Services Committee: that the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board of Directors approve the transfer of $150,000 per year into the Transit Service budget from the Hydro Grant-in-Lieu revenues for payments for any purchase, improvement or installation of any bus shelters previously approved by the East End Services Committee during the earlier Transit Service budget review and to include any and/or all costs associated with the downtown Trail Exchange; FURTHER, that this amount will be earmarked in the Transit budget for specific capital costs for bus shelter improvements and downtown Trail Exchange projects until such time as both projects will be paid off.
Board Approved by Weighted Vote.
Note: The reallocation of dam revenue funds will impact the General Administration Budget to the amount of $350K for 2021. Increases to all services will occur in offsetting this reallocation. Staff have requested that: FURTHER, to provide improved predictability for the RDKB financial planning process, that the Board of Directors develop policy guidance in 2021 regarding the allocation of Hydro-Grant-In-Lieu payments for future years.
· RDKB Letter of Support approved, for Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation (CBBC) Application to the Universal Broadband Fund which includes a fibre-to-home solution to about 94 homes in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (Park Siding area); FURTHER, that the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary supports a commitment of $27,500 to CBBC for this project, utilizing Electoral Area ‘A’ gas tax funds, subject to project approval from, and execution of contribution agreements with, the project funders.
· Staff Report: L. Moore, Senior Planner Re: Referral – Big White Ski Resort draft Resort Master Plan update and application replace the Master Development Agreement The staff report dated February 25, 2021 from Liz Moore, Senior Planner, presenting a referral from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development. Substantial discussion by Directors of this extensive proposed expansion of the Big White Resort. Many concerns regarding varied environmental impacts of ~ doubling of the resort in tenure and bed development. Many comments forwarded to related Ministry by Regional Planning Committees and concerned citizens. The Board of Directors requests that future iterations of the Master Plan be referred back to the RDKB for comment.
· The staff report from Barb Ihlen, General Manager of Finance/CFO, presenting recommendations for the use of the COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant provided by the BC Government. Staff has made a number of recommendations for the use of these funds including wage continuation, VPN Communication upgrades, Staff health and wellness, Grand Forks Aquatic Centre – increase in staffing and public access and a new, full time, salaried administrative position – Health and Safety. Directors concerns expressed about the addition of more full-time staff. At this time, the issue has been deferred to a future meeting with more information from staff forthcoming.
Prepared by: Councillor Andy Morel, RDKB Director – Rossland